Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The BEST Whole Wheat Bread Ever!

Hi friends!  I feel like I need to apologize, because I've had this recipe since January and it's April and I'm finally getting around to sharing it with you.   

I've bought bread from the store once (that's right...once!) since January.  When I pulled the store bought bread out of the freezer, I remembered why I make bread in the first place.  It's SO much better than store bought (or at least the bread I can buy at my local Smith's)!  
Here are the many reasons why I love this recipe...

1.  It's 100% WHOLE WHEAT, but still super LIGHT and FLUFFY.  My family haven't been big fans of wheat bread in the past since it's usually dense, but they haven't complained about this bread at all.

2.  It's FAST and EASY!  From start to finish this recipe takes less than two hours to make, about an hour and 45 minutes.  There aren't too many steps either.  You're not spending the whole two hours in the kitchen watching over the bread.

3.  It FREEZES WONDERFULLY!  I usually make two loaves of bread.  I slice them both up and we eat one loaf right away.  I stick the other one on the freezer.  When I pull it out of the freezer for lunches, etc. I stick it in the microwave to thaw it for a few seconds and it's as light and fluffy as it was when it first came out of the oven.  In fact, I've served this bread from the freezer with soup for dinner and my husband thought I had made it that day.  

This recipe does need two ingredients that you might not have on hand, but it's totally worth it to spend the money on it.  You can buy both of them on Amazon or in a big case at Sam's Club online.  Or if you're lucky your grocery store will carry it.
  • Dough Enhancer - (also called Dough Conditioner) is a natural way to keep your bread fresh longer and improves the taste, texture and crust of your bread.  I bought mine on Amazon here, but you can buy it at Sam's Club too.  You only need about one tablespoon for two loaves of bread, so it will last you a long time.
  • Vital Wheat Gluten -- is the natural protein found in wheat. It contains 75% protein. A small amount added to yeast bread recipes improves the texture and elasticity of the dough.  I have bought mine at Smith's and also at Sam's Club.  You can also buy it on Amazon.
The other ingredients are pretty common.
  • Instant Yeast -- I buy mine at Sam's Club
  • Honey - I buy mine at Sam's Club.  You can also substitute agave or sugar.
  • Vegetable Oil - Yep, I buy it at Sam's Club.
  • Whole Wheat Flour -- I use White Wheat Flour.  It makes the bread lighter in color, so my kids don't think of it as "brown bread".  I use a combination of store bought flour and flour that I've ground at home.  (I only buy flour because I don't have a wheat grinder...yet, so I don't have a lot of freshly ground flour to use).
  • Salt

Have I convinced you to try it yet?  If you're my local friend and want to try it, let me know and I'll give you a little bag of dough enhancer to use.

This is half of the original recipe.  It fits in my kitchenaid pretty well and makes 2 big loaves.  If you have a Bosch, double the recipe and make 5 loaves.   

I took step by step pictures to add to this post, but I guess they were on the camera card that my baby lost.  I'll take some soon and add them.

I wish I knew where the original recipe came from.  I got it from my friend, Angela, who got it from Brittany, who got it from someone else, etc.  Here's the recipe...

Light and Fluffy Whole Wheat Bread

Printable Recipe

Yield: 2 large loaves
  • 3.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 c. vital wheat gluten
  • 1.25 Tbsp. instant yeast
  • 2 1/2 c. warm water (110-115 degrees)
  • 1/3 c. honey (or 1/2 c. sugar or 1/4 c. agave)
  • 1.5 Tbsp. dough enhancer
  • 2.5 c. whole wheat flour 


1.  Mix together first 3 ingredients in Bosch with a dough hook. Add water all at once and mix on speed 1 for 30 seconds to 1 minute to incorporate all ingredients. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes (mixture will rise, should be about doubled in size).

2.  Add salt, oil, honey (or sugar or agave) and dough enhancer. Turn mixer on to speed 1 and add flour one half cup at a time, until dough starts to pull away from sides and bottom. Turn mixer up to speed 3 and mix for 10 minutes. Dough should be soft and slightly sticky.

3.  Preheat oven to 200°.   Turn dough out onto an oiled (water can be used, avoid using flour) countertop. Divide and shape into loaves. Place loaves into oiled bread pans. Place in preheated oven (TURN OVEN OFF).  Let the dough rise in the warm oven for 30 minutes or until dough reaches over the top of the pan.

4.  Turn oven up to 350° and bake for 25 minutes or until internal temperature of bread is 180°.
Remove from oven and cool on racks.

Jenny's Notes:
I either make two large loaves or one large loaf and three smaller loaves.  The smaller loaves bake for about 20 minutes.

After the bread is cooled, I slice it and bag it in ziploc bags (removing air from the bag with a straw). I freeze all the bread that we're not going to eat within two days.  It's much better from the freezer than it is on the counter three days later.   

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 272 Menu

Happy Monday everyone!

My kids have the day off from school and will go back tomorrow after an almost two week break.  We stretched spring break out a little bit by leaving town early before spring break actually started.  I'm kind of dreading getting back into a routine, but the kids are excited to get back to school and see their friends.

Since I menu planned so late last week, I already have most of this week already planned.  I didn't make much of what I had planned.

I'm going to post the recipe for my favorite whole wheat bread tomorrow!  I haven't bought bread since December, since this bread is so easy, yummy, fluffy, fast, etc.  

Menu time.
Monday:  asian bbq chicken, whole wheat cous cous, roasted cauliflower

Tuesday: chicken tortellini soup, macaroni grill bread

Wednesday:  bistro chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, veggies

Thursday:  manicotti, breadsticks, salad

Friday:  homemade pizza

Saturday:  pre-Easter BBQ - 7up marinated chicken, grilled burgers and hot dogs, mandarin orange jello salad, chocolate creme cupcakes, etc. 

Sunday:  we ate our traditional Easter dinner last week for my daughter's birthday, so we'll have something different instead...so, TBD.

What are you making this week?  Do you make ham and potatoes for Easter dinner?  Or do you have another yummy tradition?

Click here for to see all of my menu plans (#272 of them!).
Click here for my family's favorite recipes (my BEST recipes).
Click here for my "Ultimate List of Dinner Ideas" (all the meals I make on a regular basis).
Click here for freezer meal ideas. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Week 271 Menu

Hi friends!  Happy Thursday!

I'm thinking maybe I should rethink the day that I menu plan.  I usually try to do it on Monday, but haven't been very good at it lately.  I think Thursday is my favorite day of the week.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday end up being super busy and I don't have much time to spend on the computer.  Thursday end up being my "catch up" day. Anyway...

We are in the middle of spring break right now.  We took a quick trip to Utah last week.  We visited lots of family.  And we got to attend a session of general conference, where our church leaders speak...always uplifting and wonderful!

My little girl turned ten this week too!  Can't believe I've been a mom for ten years.  Crazy!\

I have lots of things that I want to blog about.  Hopefully I'll find some time to post them.  Kids, laundry, dinner, house projects, etc. seem to take priority over blogging these days.

Menu time:

Monday:  we were on the road

Tuesday:  beef and broccoli

Wednesday:  ham, funeral potatoes, cloud light crescent rolls,

Thursday:  bistro chicken

Friday: Asian BBQ chicken, whole grain cous cous

Saturday:  beef stew

Sunday:  manicotti

All right...That's what we've been eating and are going to eat this week.  How about you?  If you haven't menu planned this week, feel free to post what you've had for dinner so far.

Have a great weekend! 
Need more menu inspiration?  Here are some links for you...

Click here for to see all of my menu plans (#271 of them!).
Click here for my family's favorite recipes (my BEST recipes).
Click here for my "Ultimate List of Dinner Ideas" (all the meals I make on a regular basis).
Click here for freezer meal ideas. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Week 270 Menu

Oh my goodness!  I can't believe it's already Wednesday.  Early Monday morning I started writing this post and planned most of my menu.  I got interrupted and didn't finish the post.

Then on Tuesday, I sat down to finish planning my menu, but was completely stumped about what to make for dinner that night, so I didn't finish it.

So, now it's Wednesday and I'm going to finish posting, even with a crying baby and a halfway painted hallway.  I've been painting this week, or at least trying to, but I only really paint during naptime.

I cornered my family during breakfast this morning and made them tell me what they wanted to eat for dinner for the rest of the week. Hopefully this will cut down on the tears and fits at dinnertime.  My boys thought they were going to die yesterday since they had to eat tatortots in their tinfoil dinners.  Crazy kids!

Anyway...here's our menu for the week:

 Monday:  grilled chicken sausage, fried potatoes, green salad, fruit

Tuesday:  BBQ chicken tinfoil dinners

Wednesday: brats, oven fries, broccoli and fruit

Thursday:  spaghetti

Friday: orange chicken (my kids most favorite, most requested dinner of all time!)

Saturday:  easy night

Sunday:   crockpot ranch pork chops, mashed potatoes, etc. 

 What are you eating this week?  Or what have you eaten so far?  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Week 269 Menu

Hi friends!  Happy Tuesday!

Did you all have a great St. Patrick's Day?  I have to admit that there are some really cute ways to celebrate St. Patrick's day, but I've never done any of them.  I don't color our food green or even serve hardly any green food.  The most green we ate yesterday was the green peppers inside our meatball sandwiches.

Speaking of meatball sandwiches, have I told you lately how much I love them?  My sister-in-law, Melinda, gave me the recipe for the best turkey meatballs ever a long time ago.  They are one of my favorite recipes ever.  And they're pretty healthy too, full of veggies and lean ground turkey.  My baby gobbled them up plain yesterday.  I bought some ciabatta rolls from Sam's Club yesterday and our sandwiches were taken to another level of deliciousness.  Usually I just buy rolls at my local Smith's, since Sam's is an hour away.

Yesterday on my shopping trip I went to Sprout's and stocked up on green and red peppers.  I cut them up and freeze them.  I also bought some butternut squash to roast and then puree.  I freeze the puree in ice cubes and then drop a few cubes into ramen noodles, soup and sauces.

I also bought some ground turkey and boneless skinless chicken breasts to make fancy up (form into meatballs or bag with some marinade) to stick in my freezer.  Pretty much like I talked about in my freezer meal post a while ago.

Anyway...soccer season started yesterday, so we're back at it with only a two week break since basketball season ended.  That means that I have to have dinner ready before the kids come home from school otherwise we're eating cereal every night.

And, my camera card is missing.  I'm thinking a sweet little 15 month old took it out of the card reader that was in the computer and dropped it somewhere sneaky, because I can't find it anywhere.  I keep thinking of things (mostly food) to take pictures with, but I can't until I get another card.

Anyway...time to get busy.  My to do list is waiting for me.  Menu planning time...

Monday:  we had my favorite meatball sandwiches and fresh pineapple

Tuesday:  chicken tetrazinni 

Wednesday:  leftovers

Thursday:  porcupine meatballs

Friday: tinfoil dinners

Saturday:  to be determined

Sunday:  crockpot chicken tacos

That was easy.  What about you?  What are you making this week?


Need more menu inspiration?  Here are some links for you...

Click here for to see all of my menu plans (#269 of them!).
Click here for my family's favorite recipes (my BEST recipes).
Click here for my "Ultimate List of Dinner Ideas" (all the meals I make on a regular basis).
Click here for freezer meal ideas.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 268 Menu

 Hi friends!  Happy Monday! 

Anyone else have a hard time getting yourself and your kiddos out of bed this morning?  I actually took a nap yesterday (I hardly ever take a nap these days) and then I didn't go to bed until way too late, which made it super hard to get up this morning.  Gotta love day light savings time, right?

Time to menu plan, so I can hit the grocery store.  I just went shopping on Saturday, but I didn't plan ahead for this week.  I should have.  Oh well.

Here goes...

Monday:  grill teriyaki burgers and brats, green salad with homemade ranch dressing

Tuesday:  taco soup

Wednesday: BBQ chicken tinfoil dinners

Thursday:  porcupine meatballs, rice, veggie

Friday: light and fluffy oat-wheat pancakes, homemade syrup, fruit

Saturday: chicken salad BTLs
Sunday: grilled steak, fried potatoes, salad, one hour rolls

All righty...I'm going to go enjoy our warm springy weather and also go to the grocery store.  If you feel like it, feel free to share what you're making this week.

Have a good day!